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Shotgun proffers BJP-Cong tie-up

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By The Telegraph Online
  • Published 14.05.09

New Delhi, May 13 (PTI): Observing that governments formed with regional parties always remain on tenterhooks, actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha today mooted a coalition of BJP and Congress for the country’s “stability and prosperity”.

“Why can we not try it (a coalition government of BJP- Congress) keeping our nation’s interest in mind,” said the BJP leader.

Pointing out that coalition politics has become the norm of the day, Shatrughan, who contested from Patna Saheb, said past experiences have shown that a government formed on basis of “hard bargain” with regional parties lived “dangerously” throughout its term. In this scenario, a coalition government of the BJP and the Congress could be “stable, durable and free from trouble,” he felt.

“I am presenting this idea as a food for thought,” added the former cabinet minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government.

He pointed out that in the cases of several foreign governments, principal political parties had joined hands to form a stable government, all in the interest of the nation.

Asked who would lead the coalition government, Shotgun said whichever party has the highest number of seats should have its leader as the Prime Minister. Such a government could be based on a Common Minimum Programme (CMP) that could take better care of a country’s economic and foreign policies.

“Politics is an art of possibilities. If one can knock the doors of the Left, the Samajwadi Party and Kalyan Singh and the Muslim League at a go... why can’t this combination work,” he said, framing his remark more as a question for the Congress.

“Nobody is treated as an untouchable in politics,” said Shatrughan, also a two-term Rajya Sabha member from the state of Bihar.

The leader later left for the Shirdi Sai Baba Temple (Maharashtra) to pray for the success of BJP and its leader L.K. Advani. Only last week, while talking to a television channel BJP’s key strategist Sudheendra Kulkarni had remarked that his party does not consider Congress political opponents as “untouchables”.

However, he later clarified his comment and said that “the question of the two parties working together in the post-May 16 scenario was unthinkable”.